Police have busted open an alleged illegal sex work syndicate in Central Queensland.
Police have busted open an alleged illegal sex work syndicate in Central Queensland.

Three women allegedly linked to illegal sex work in Mackay

UPDATE: TWO Rockhampton sex workers will front court over allegations they were illegally selling their trade in Mackay following the closure of a two-year sting.

A 42-year-old woman and a 56-year-old woman have each been charged with knowingly participate in the provision of prostitution and possessing tainted property.

Both women will appear in Mackay Magistrates Court next week.

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A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman confirmed a 48-year-old Mackay woman was fined $3500 after being busted twice for illegal sex work during the operation.

She was fined $1500 in April 2019 and then $2000 in July this year.

Under Queensland law, sex workers can only operate alone, from their home, a unit, motel or hotel or in a licensed brothel.

Any other form of sex work is illegal including street walkers (publicly soliciting prostitution) or for two or more sex workers to operate out of the same place if it is not a licensed brothel even if they work in shifts.

Escort agencies, unlicensed brothels and massage parlours are also illegal.

Police have charged 25 people with offences relating to the provision of unlawful prostitution following a two-year joint agency investigation.
Police have charged 25 people with offences relating to the provision of unlawful prostitution following a two-year joint agency investigation.

EARLIER: POLICE have busted open an alleged illegal sex work ring operating from motels in Mackay, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Brisbane.

A total of 25 people were arrested and charged with offences relating to the provision of unlawful prostitution following a two-year joint agency investigation.

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The police sting, targeting an alleged syndicate profiting from illegal prostitution activities, was a collaboration between Crime and Intelligence Command’s Prostitution Enforcement Taskforce and Major and Organised Crime Squad Regional detectives with help from the Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force officers.

Detective Acting Inspector Brad Phelps from the Drug and Serious Crime Group said the investigation had resulted in senior members of the syndicate being apprehended.

“This was a significant outcome and we remain committed to working with agency partners to target those operating outside the law,” Det Insp Phelps said.

“Illegal operators not only put the health and safety of their workers and customers at risk, they are profiting from illegal activity and we will continue to hold them to account.”

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A 65-year-old man and 57-year-old woman from Brisbane, who were arrested on November 29, were among those arrested.

Police will allege the pair were running an illegal prostitution syndicate operating from motels.

As part of the operation police seized in excess of $36,000.

They face four counts of carrying on the business of unlawful prostitution and will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court later this month.


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